Michael Scott Hopkins is a Colonel in the US Air Force and NASA Astronaut. He was born on December 28, 1968 in Lebanon, Missouri, but grew up on a farm in Richland, Missouri.
Hopkins attended School of the Osage High School in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri from which he graduated in 1987. He entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Aerospace Engineering. While at university, Hopkins played American Football as defensive back for the Illinois Fighting Illini football team.
He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1991 and followed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University from which he received a Master's in Aerospace Engineering in 1992.
While Hopkins was at the University of Illinois, he was a member of the US Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. In 1992, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, being stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, he worked on advanced space systems technologies before entering Air Force Test Pilot School in 1996, graduating in class 96B as a Distinguished graduate and top flight test engineer.
Hopkins was assigned to the 418th Flight Test Squadron to test the C-17 and C-130 aircraft. In 1999, he participated in an exchange program and transferred to Canada where he lived in Cold Lake, Alberta serving at the Canadian Flight Test Center.
In 2002, Hopkins was selected as an Olmsted Scholar by the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation. He was sent to the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California, where he studied for six months before being sent to Parma, Italy to study political science.
In 2005, he was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Project Office at the Pentagon where he served as a project engineer and program manager. His next assignment starting in 2008 was the position of special assistant to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In 2009, Michael Hopkins was selected as one of 14 NASA astronaut candidates. He reported to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, to begin two years of basic training and evaluations. Following astronaut training, Hopkins was assigned a position within the astronaut office working on ISS operations.
He was assigned to the prime crew of ISS Expedition 37/38 and he was also part of the backup crew for Expedition 35. Hopkins will serve as a Flight Engineer on Soyuz TMA-10M and Expeditions 37 and 38.
Hopkins is married to the former Julie Stutz. They have two sons. In his free time Hopkins enjoys backpacking, camping, snow skiing, weight lifting, running, hockey and football.